Before last weekend, what currently amounts to the most meaningless game on the 2013 NFL schedule already carried enough comically pathetic ramifications to make it highly conversation worthy. But after Sunday, this early-season contest between two bad football teams becomes interesting as fuck on so many levels, to the point that this is essentially an exercise in trying to figure out who the hell I should be rooting for.
At face value, Sunday afternoon's game is the equivalent of a reverse six-pointer in a relegation battle where the loser wins- or, to make more sense of it than the situation deserves, who will get the early edge on the #1 pick of the draft? You can't blame the neutrals if they feel this is the only angle of import to the showdown. In fact, I think I can speak for my brethren as well as Jaguars fan(s?) when I say I envy that perspective.
But no, for the 2013 Raiders and Jaguars, shit starts to get deep from there. As great as having the first pick in a loaded draft will feel next spring, wins are pretty cool too. A couple on the way to that #1 slot would be nice, and this is that rare opportunity for either team this season.
Personally, I'm a practical man, and am inclined to say fuck that window dressing on a crap season. Now that the Lions already broke the seal on The Big Doughnut 0-16, if that's what it is, hey that's what it is. But after Terrelle Pryor's performance against the Colts... fuck if I'm not wanting to see us pull this one out now. You can have an honorable loss in Indianapolis in 2013. You cannot have an honorable loss in Oakland to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. All accounts indicate that team looked measurably worse than us last weekend. Anything short of a W this weekend and it's back to square one, all the past few days' good cheer be damned.
The Jaguars were basically us had we started Flynn over Pryor- you wouldn't blame opposing defensive coordinators to instruct their squads to treat the QB like he had a red jersey on. Unfortunately for us Gabbert went down to injury and Chad Henne, who unlike big Blaine has a track record of not being completely awful, will be starting Sunday. Far be it for me to get into the Crocs of a Jaguars fan, but you have to think this becomes a big game for them now too. If Henne shows up Gabbert, Blaine is probably fucked. And that could make the Jags take Bridgewater even if they got the #1 pick then, huh? Goddammit this is confusing!
Ultimately I have to come back to two things. It is Week 2. If you are rooting for your own team to lose to the 2013 Jaguars this early, where do you go from there if you get your way? My best guess would be self-abuse, and not the fun kind, before the bye week. Also this game is at home. I would not wish attending that home loss on any of my people. I was in the stands for a bad loss against the Jaguars once. It was the last game of the season, and I saw far and away the most awesome fight I'd ever seen at a Raiders game on the way out. That was OK. Losing this Sunday would not be OK. Go Raiders.